Nightcrawler made Jake Gyllenhaal slim down in an unhealthy way

Oct 16, 2014 at 11:00 p.m. ET
Image: Sean Thorton/WENN.com

Looking back, Jack Gyllenhaal doesn't recommend the lengths he went to in order to prepare for his latest role.

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When he signed on for his upcoming thriller, Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal learned he'd need to shed nearly 30 pounds in order to fit the character, shady paparazzo, Lou Bloom. And let's keep in mind, Gyllenhaal didn't exactly have a lot of extra weight on him before.

But it's how Gyllenhaal chose to lose the weight that has us all shaking our heads. The actor revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he dumped everything in his diet and lived on kale salad and chewing gum — definitely not dietitian recommended. And combine that serious calorie deficit with an intense exercise regimen and you're looking at some decidedly unhealthy weight loss.

"I made a lot of choices physically," he said, adding that he ran 15 miles each day between his Hollywood home and the set where the movie was being filmed.

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"The running thing, you're pretty hungry because you're not eating a lot of food," he added, and went on to say that his poor health choices had a negative impact on his social life, as well. "You're lonely because you're not meeting your friends for dinner. People go, 'Hey you want to meet for dinner after work?' I go, 'Well, I'm shooting all night.' 'All right, you want to meet for lunch?' I'm like, 'I can't!' So I'm gonna go run."

Gyllenhaal later revealed to People that he realizes now that his choices about his health could have been really dangerous. Now that filming has wrapped up and he's had a chance to reflect, he admits he didn't realize at the time what a toll his unhealthy weight loss would take.

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"I don't think I was aware," he said. "I don't think I was aware until a few months ago and we were going through all the cuts, and you start to separate from the character and go 'Wow,' you know?"

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